Teddington Traders Market, a new venture for small, local, independent businesses, run in collaboration with Teddington Together and The Anglers, is creating quite a stir. Local journalist Fiona Kingston went to explore.
Launched in July, the new market has already attracted a healthy number of visitors. Stallholders’ displays of fresh fruit and vegetables, vegan pastries, organic meat, fresh flowers, nut butters and sushi, are proving tempting.
And stalls exhibiting art, jewellery, and ceramics have been a talking point, particularly artist Lisa Tolley’s bespoke prints of Teddington.
The market, held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, is open from 9am-1pm and embraces sustainability. None of the traders have traditional shopfronts, most are local and packaging, as far as possible, is plastic free.
A number of them, including Sushi Bae, Your Veg Box, and Fenton Yard Flowers, emerged in response to residents’ needs during the limitations of the lockdown.
With the lifting of restrictions, more small independent businesses are waiting to show off their goods. The car park has space for 18 traders.
The person behind the market’s launch is The Anglers general manager Ben Walton. Asked about his initiative he said: “I had heard from lots of locals that they missed the old farmers market, which was in Broad Street a few years back. We’ve got a car park, which is empty most mornings, so we’ve got the perfect space for it.”
The car park is free for traders but, for the benefit of the community, each is asked to donate to a local charity or cause, such as Teddington Lights Up.
Local resident and trader Jess Sargent, who delivers fresh flowers to local homes and businesses from her flower studio, said: “The buzz around the market was infectious, full of joyful conversation among customers and traders.” To her delight her £10 bouquets, made from blooms bought in Surrey, sold out.
Nick Green, from The Green Butcher, a local company endorsed by One One Four, used the market to highlight the virtues of pasture-based organic farming.
And Ben Walton, whose well-liked pub offered visitors coffee, and in some instances breakfast, reflected: “It was great to see fledgling businesses have their first opportunity to meet new customers and start to find their way. We also lucked out with cracking weather!”
Mark Yates, owner of Teddington-based Your Veg Box, confirmed it was great after the limitations of the lockdown to get in front of people and have a proper chat. His cherries sold out in less than two hours. Visitors liked his support for plastic-free packaging and his ethos to forward all blemished or excess produce to charities. His fresh fruit and vegetables boxes assembled with produce from New Covent Garden, cost £15 to £38, and are delivered direct to local residents.
Another newcomer Sushi Bae, run by Rahul Soni, an enterprising 2020 Economics graduate from Royal Holloway, supplies fresh sushi to locals via Deliveroo. Noticing a gap in the local market, Rahul, helped by Ben Walton, began trading last October. Strong sales of his fresh sushi, prepared by chefs at the Abercorn Arms, recently led to him hiring more staff. One visitor who sampled the sushi exclaimed it was “delicious”.
Already applauded by local independent traders, it is hoped that this inspired planet-friendly and community-conscious initiative, at a time of unprecedented climate change, will win ongoing support from residents too.
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Teddington Traders Market